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Deep Impact (1998)

Directed by
Mimi Leder

Screenplay by
Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin


Leo Biederman (Elijah Wood), a bright-eyed high-school kid who calls teachers and parents "sir," is on an outing with his astronomy teacher, when he peers through the telescope and discovers an unknown body adjacent to two well-known stars. When a specialist in his lab (Charles Martin Smith) examines the body's orbit in his computer, he is so shocked at its trajectory that he drops his slice of pizza, jumps into his jeep with the evidence, and meets with catastrophe. As director Mimi Leder cuts to Hillary Clinton lookalike Jenny Lerner (Tea Leoni), a career-driven TV news reporter, we find her investigating the resignation of the Secretary of the Treasury, whose departure she believes is not occasioned by his wish to spend more time with his sick wife. Believing that an expose of the affair he is allegedly having with someone named Ellie will spur her into the anchor's seat, she instead falls upon information about E.L.E., which means Extinction Level Event. A mean meteor is determined to wipe out all life on earth.


Sarah Hotchner

As astronaut Spurgeon Tanner (Robert Duvall), nicknamed "Fish" because his name sounds like one, joins a mission to duel the big rock, tearful events occur back on earth among folks who believe that the mission will fail. Most important, newscaster Jenny Lerner decides to hate her dad (Maximilian Schell), who has recently divorced his wife (Vanessa Redgrave) to marry a bimbo two years old than Jenny. Much of the film treats the family split and ultimate reconciliation - as Jenny recalls the wonderful times she enjoyed at the age of five with the aging Jason. The other tear-evoking tale centers on young Leo Biederman (Elijah Wood), who has decided quickly to marry his sweetheart in order to make her eligible along with him for a safety program and she must choose whether to stay back home with her parents and die or to join her new, shotgun partner.

Morgan Freeman does a dignified job as the president of the United States, offering both hope and realism to the people of his country, as he prepares to transport one million designated by computer to be conveyed to a safe place in Missouri where they along with one pair of each animal species will survive and procreate.

  Director

Mimi Leder

Born in 1957. Director and producer of "Pay It Forward" (2000), "The Peacemaker" (1997), "House of Secrets" (1993), multiple episodes of "ER" TV Series.


  Also starring

Tea Leoni
as Jenny Lerner

Born in New York City, Leoni became interested in acting through the influence of her grandmother, a former Broadway actress. Nicknamed Sarah Bernhardt because of her melodramatic tendencies, Leoni didn't pursue her craft immediately. Instead, she studied anthropology and psychology at Sarah Lawrence and then took time off from school to travel, living in Tokyo, Italy and on St. Croix. Upon her return to New York, she went on her first audition. Competing with thousands of actresses from all over the country, Leoni landed one of the coveted roles in Angels '88, a Charlie's Angels spinoff. Having relocated to Los Angeles for the series, Leoni began to study her craft while waiting out her contract. She went on to appear in the feature films Switch and Indian Love Story, as well as roles in A League of Their Own, Wyatt Earp and the1995's hit action comedy Bad Boys.


Elijah Wood
as Leo Biederman

Elijah Jordan Wood was born on January 28, 1981 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Warren and Debbie Wood. He has an old brother Zack and a younger sister Hannah. Elijah owns two dogs: Rascal and Levonne. At an early age, Elijah showed a knack for entertaining and wowing audiences, and his mother decided to take him to Los Angeles for an Annual International Modeling and Talent Association Convention. He quickly landed himself a job in the fabulous world of acting. Soon he began popping up in commercials and then in small parts on television, but he got his first major part appearing in Avalon (1990) in 1990. Elijah's acting career shot off from there, appearing in films such as Paradise (1991), Radio Flyer (1992), and Forever Young (1992) with Mel Gibson. After The Good Son (1993) with Macaulay Culkin, Elijah appeared in North (1994). Although North was deemed a flop at the box office, Elijah was praised as the only good thing to come out of that movie. In 1996, Elijah starred in a movie remake of the old TV show Flipper (1996), and immediately regained his old strength. He appeared in countless movies after that, and increased his power on the silver screen. Many critics wondered if his childlike ability to capture an audience was wearing thin, like many child actors, but Elijah has proved that it has only made him stronger. Deep Impact (1998) and The Faculty (1998) were produced after that, and with immense support. In 1999 Elijah was in three movies that never made it into wide release: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (2000) (released on satellite TV), Black and White (1999) (released on home video), and Chain of Fools (2000). Elijah next went to work on what has been called the biggest project ever to hit the movies, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien.


Morgan Freeman
as President Tom Beck

This tall, mellowvoiced actor, one of the contemporary screen's most accomplished supporting players and character leads, has brought dignity as well as talent to a wide array of movie roles. Long before moviegoers knew his face, children were watching him as Easy Reader on the popular PBS TV series "The Electric Company." After considerable stage and TV experience, Freeman stunned movie audiences (and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination) as the suavely vicious pimp in Street Smart (1987). Prior to that, he'd had small parts in Brubaker (1980), Eyewitness(1981), Teachers (1984), Marie, a True Story and That Was Then, This Is Now (both 1985). Since attaining stardom, he has played a number of uplifting characters in Clean and Sober (1988), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). Freeman was tireless in 1989, playing a Civil War sergeant in Glory a disciplineminded high school principal in Lean on Me a gentle chauffeur in Driving Miss Daisy (Oscar nomination for Best Actor), and even squeezing in a change of pace as a nasty cop in Johnny Handsome He continues to work on stage-he made a notable Petruchio in a 1991 production of "The Taming of the Shrew," opposite Tracey Ullman. He costarred with Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven (1992) before making his directing debut on the little-seen apartheid story Bopha! (1993). Freeman earned another Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of a prison lifer in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and, most recently, has costarred in Outbreak and Seven (both 1995).